Read CHAPTER VII of Frenzied Finance Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated , free online book, by Thomas W. Lawson, on


For the purposes of the transaction I have just described the machinery of a great bank or trust company was essential. The vast profit gained here was absolutely “made” through the instrumentality of the National City Bank of New York, but some other tractable institution would have been equally efficient. In order that my readers may focus such great financial concerns as this National City Bank, I give right here brief resumes of its career and resources and of those of two of its affiliated institutions:



The “City Bank” was chartered by the New York Legislature in 1812, and reorganized as a National Bank July 17, 1865. The capital paid in was $1,000,000. Moses Taylor held the office of president for thirty-four years, and died in 1892, when Percy R. Pyne, son-in-law of Moses Taylor, was elected president and held office until the election of James Stillman, of Woodward & Stillman, cotton merchants, when the capital stock of the bank was increased to $10,000,000, and again increased to $25,000,000. The sworn report of the officers and directors filed with the Controller of the Currency shows that the condition of the bank, January, 1904, was:


Loans and discounts $114,507,919.
Overdrafts secured and unsecured 162.
United States bonds to secure circulation 3,220,000.
United States bonds to secure United States deposits 12,937,000.
United States bonds on hand 60,120.
United States bond account 4,450,000.
Premiums on United States bonds 1,354,013.
Stocks, securities, etc. 16,709,241.
Banking-house furniture and fixtures 200,000.
Due from national banks (not reserve agents) 4,727,461.
Due from State banks and bankers 644,288.
Exchange for clearing-house 31,000,935.
Checks and other cash items 798,843.
Notes of other national banks 209,015.
Fractional paper currency, nickels, and cents 684.
Lawful money reserve in bank, viz.:
Specie $36,928,350.
Legal tender notes 7,100,000.00 44,028,350.
Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer (5% of circulation) 161,000.
Due from U. S. Treasurer other than 5% redemption fund 204,105.95

Total $235,213,140.78


Capital stock paid in $25,000,000.
Surplus fund 8,900,000.
Undivided profits, less expenses and taxes paid 8,503,038.
National bank notes outstanding 3,180,000.
Due to other national banks $36,469,683.
Due to State banks and bankers 5,903,473.
Due to trust companies and savings-banks
Provident reserve fund 30,000.
Dividends unpaid 519.
Individual deposits subject to check 82,576,884.
Demand certificates of deposit 43,790.
Certified checks 10,752,671.
Cashier’s checks outstanding 7,631,619.
United States deposits 12,937,000.00 185,556,102.
United States bonds 4,155,000.00

Total $235,213,140.78


The company was incorporated by special act of the New York Legislature in 1841. It is the third largest insurance company in the United States. The assets of the company January 1, 1892, were $125,947,290, and income $31,854,194. In 1904 the assets were $352,652,048; income, $88,269,531.


This institution was incorporated in 1898 with a paid-in capital of $3,000,000. In 1904 its total resources, also liabilities, were $63,471,639, of the same general character as those of the National City Bank of New York.

A calm examination of these figures, illuminated by the explanation of the “System’s” methods I have previously given, will awaken the American people to a comprehension of what use “high finance” makes of the savings of the public intrusted to it for legitimate investment.

Nor must it be supposed for one minute that the insurance company and the Boston bank which I have used for illustrations differ in any way from scores and scores of their kind which are as absolutely “steered” in their operations by the National City Bank of New York as the National City Bank of New York is absolutely “steered” by its president, James Stillman, or as James Stillman is absolutely “steered” by “Standard Oil,” the Private Thing, or as “Standard Oil,” the Private Thing, is absolutely “steered” by its supreme heads, Henry H. Rogers, William Rockefeller, and John D. Rockefeller. And if any doubt remains in the minds of my readers of the absolute power of “Standard Oil,” the Private Thing, to “make” dollars at will, or of the dead-sure working of their “heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose” gambling game, I ask them carefully to analyze the above statements in connection with the facts in the Amalgamated transaction which just precede them.

Fourteen years ago the National City Bank passed out of the legitimate management of old-fashioned business men of the Moses Taylor stamp and into the hands of the “System,” the Private Thing. Then its capital was $1,000,000; it is to-day $25,000,000, and after having paid out millions in dividends and other profits it has, in addition, a surplus of $16,000,000, and it has the absolute power to juggle with a total of $235,000,000, $36,000,000 of which belong to other national banks, $6,000,000 to State banks and bankers, $29,000,000 to trust companies and savings-banks, $82,000,000 to individual depositors, $10,000,000 to the holders of certified checks, $7,000,000 to the holders of cashiers’ checks, $13,000,000 to the Government directly, and $4,000,000 in Government bonds, to say nothing of scores of hundreds of millions more through its affiliated institutions. And all this juggling is done in such a fearless manner that we find it in the Amalgamated deal loaning in one transaction an amount so great that if it had been lost, the bank’s entire capital would have been more than completely wiped out. That my readers may not base their conclusions upon this one transaction of this mighty engine of the “System,” vicious as it shows on the surface and destructive as it really was to the thousands who were parties to it, I will later in this story show the National City Bank in another section of the Amalgamated deal, doing things which in intention and in result were so much bolder and grosser that this transaction will by comparison appear pure and legitimate.

During the past thirty years the American people have become so used to enormous figures in connection with corporations and trusts that they have not stopped to discriminate between different classes of fortunes nor to figure out that fortunes of certain kinds are absolute self-evidence that they were acquired by illegal methods, and that if allowed to multiply the people will surely be enslaved and the republic destroyed. For instance, there are in New York City alone dozens of national and savings-banks and insurance and trust companies which control money enough to make them practically omnipotent in whatever direction their controllers exert their power. I will name but seven, showing what enormous amounts their managers control; and let it be borne in mind that all such institutions are linked together by the “System” as firmly and surely as any human things can be linked. The Equitable, Mutual, and New York Life Insurance companies have a combined capital of $1,200,000,000 of assets, a yearly income of $230,000,000, and $4,500,000,000 of insurance in force; the National City Bank, United States Trust, Mercantile Trust, and Union Trust companies $30,000,000 capital, and $45,000,000 surplus, and they have the vast sum of $450,000,000 of the people’s money to juggle with.